BYC Member Interview - teach1rusl

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, May 18, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Crystal, known to BYC members as teach1rusl, has been a member of our community since July 2009. Another of our wonderful all-rounders, she is known for her good advice and beautiful flock.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    My husband (John) and I live on a ten acre hobby farm in southern Indiana. We both enjoy projects that get us out of the house. John is a wizard at rebuilding old tractors and other farm equipment, and has A+ construction skills (he built our home). I enjoy construction projects too, although mine are on a much smaller scale… rabbit hutches, small chicken coops and such. I especially like using scrap wood from shipping crates and/or pallets in my projects. My skills are pretty basic, but I've learned that having and knowing how to use the right tools can make a job so much easier! Also, cute/pretty trim can cover up the worst of mistakes… lol.



    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    I have fond memories of the chickens my Granny Louise kept 40 years ago. They were just basic farm chickens, a reddish variety of some kind. They were fairly wild, and lived off the land mostly, supplemented by the scraps Granny would toss out for them each day. They roosted in her old, broken-down barn, not secure by any means. As a result, they didn't even last two years. Although they weren't friendly birds, I still remember how soothing it was just listening to their chicken conversations and watching them scratch and peck about. It just gave me such a peaceful feeling. I'd always been an animal lover, so tried my best to make up to them, but they'd have none of it. That didn't lessen my fondness for them though.

    Eventually, life circumstances gave me a home in the country on a few acres. I wanted that old feeling back, of those warm, carefree days spent at Granny's. Plus, the idea of fresh eggs was appealing, as well as the thought of being at least a tiny bit self-sufficient. So I began researching chicken care (I wanted my chickens to be around longer than two years!). That's when I discovered the Backyard Chickens forum!

    Finally, in the summer of 2009, we built our first coop and ordered a mixed assortment of five pullets from an on-line poultry company. Four of those five original girls are still with us, but our flock count now stands at 30. I love variety, so among our three coops, our chicken breeds range from seramas, silkies, and showgirls to orpingtons, easter eggers, and wyandottes, just to name a few.



    3. Which aspect(s) of chicken keeping do you enjoy the most?

    Well I can assure you that my favorite part is NOT sweeping chicken poop off of the front porch… lol! My favorite part of keeping chickens is the sense of peace it gives me just watching and listening to my flock as they scratch and peck about in the yard. Of course I appreciate the eggs too. We sell our "big girl" eggs and use the bantam eggs for ourselves.


    4. Which members of your flock, past and present, stand out for you and why?

    That is a tough question!

    I'm quite partial to my older gals, so two of my flock favorites came to me as chicks in 2009. My lead hen, an australorp named June Bug, has always been a wonderful girl, a firm but fair flock leader known for her conversational skills (seriously - she will talk to you all day long). From the time they were chicks together, her best bud has been a barred rock named Dixie, a funny, inquisitive, very people-oriented hen.

    For some reason, Dixie's fourth fall molt hit her really hard. She got so sick that she stayed in the coop for two days straight. For both of those days, June Bug stayed right there in the coop with Dixie, by her side. When I open the runs each morning, I always toss scratch around the yard as a morning treat - my flock comes running out like horses from the gate at the Kentucky Derby to get at that scratch. June Bug would not leave her friend even to get to that scratch, which says a LOT about her devotion.

    Another flock favorite (who is no longer with us) was my little serama hen, Lucy Lu. Talk about personality plus! That little 12 ounce hen had the attitude of a big girl - assertive, friendly, and very people-oriented. She's the closest I've come to having a house chicken. I could pat my arm and call to her, and she would fly up to my arm for petting. I sure miss that little hen…



    5. What was the funniest (chicken related) thing(s) that happened to you in your years as chicken owner?

    My husband probably doesn't find this as funny as I do. We spent a lot of time socializing our first little flock of five. We'd sit out in the run with them, and they'd hop all over us. Our barred rock, Dixie, has always been an inquisitive little thing, very people-oriented. She was on my husband's shoulder, and I was trying to take some cute pictures, but John kept averting his face.

    Me: "Look over here - I want to get your picture!"
    John: "No! She'll peck me in the eye!"
    Me (laughing): "She's NOT going to peck you in the eye!"

    So John looked up…I got the perfect picture… and of course Dixie pecked him in the eye. Oh well… live and learn… lol.


    6. Beside chickens, what other pets do you keep?

    Besides our 30 chickens, we keep honeybees (okay - those aren't really pets), five alpacas, one llama, a rabbit, four cats, and a golden retriever.




    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
  2. ChickenLover200

    ChickenLover200 Overrun With Chickens

    May 10, 2013
    I'll be in the barn!
    Always love seeing a new interview :D
  3. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2016
    Great interview and nice farm. Thanks for sharing.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Very nice interview! Love your farm and all your critters. I am so sorry about your little Serama hen. They sure do get intertwined in our hearts, don't they?

    Thanks for sharing! [​IMG]
  5. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens

    Nice interview! The last pic. has a interesting looking hive in it. Are you in rolling hill country, that is a very pretty part of the state.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I LOVE the rolling land in our area of southern Indiana!! I'm originally from WVa, so am not a fan of flat land.

    Both hives are garden style hives with gabled style outer covers. Mine (we have his/hers hives...hehee) is painted with floral designs, so that may be why is looks "interesting"!
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Thank you! I love our farm too - it's a peaceful, harmonious place. And yes, all of my 'critters' are important, but some special ones have really touched my heart through the years.
  9. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens

  10. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For the Birds!! Premium Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Very nice interview! I enjoyed it very much.

    And originally from WV? [​IMG] Gotta love that part too! [​IMG]

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